27 of the Best Shows on Netflix Right Now

Julie Sprankles

Read Time 9 minutes

Peaky Blinders
© BBC Two

There are few things worse than finding yourself in a massive showhole. The series you’ve been binge-watching with gusto is over, and now all you’re left with is a slight indention on the couch where your body parked for the past six hours. What do you watch next? What even are the best shows on Netflix?

With so many choices available, it can feel impossible to pinpoint the good from the bad and the downright campy. Fear not, though — we’ve got you covered. The following series should be added to your list immediately, if not sooner.

Alias Grace
Type: Biography, Crime, Drama
Release Year: 2017
Director: Mary Harron
Starring: Anna Paquin, Rebecca Liddiard, Sarah Gadon
Rating: 99% RT, 7.9/10 IMDB

Before you get too attached to this brilliant Margaret Atwood adaptation, we should warn you it is currently billed as a mini-series — as in, what you see is what you get. However, with any luck, this story of a young, poor Irish immigrant-slash-maid accused of double murder will somehow get a second season.

Peaky Blinders
Type: Crime, Drama
Release Year: 2013 – Present
Creator: Steven Knight
Starring: Cillian Murphy, Paul Anderson, Helen McCrory
Rating: 96% RT, 8.8/10 IMDB

The year is 1919, and a notorious gang runs the lawless streets of post-war Birmingham England. Savage crime boss Tommy Shelby leads the gang, intent on carving out a spot for himself in the world. Brutal at times and always thick with detail, Peaky Blinders proves to be an immersive viewing experience.

Stranger Things
Type: Drama, Fantasy, Horror
Release Year: 2016 – Present
Creators: Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer
Starring: Millie Bobby Brown, Finn Wolfhard, Winona Ryder
Rating: 94% RT, 8.9/10 IMDB

If you’ve somehow inexplicably managed to miss this nostalgic gem, get thee to your TV right away. From the minute a little boy vanishes from his small town in Indiana, you’ll be invested in following his friends (and mom, played by Winona Ryder!) as they try to piece together what happened. When a strange little girl enters the picture, things take a supernatural turn you won’t see coming.

Jane the Virgin
Type: Drama, Family, Romance, Comedy
Release Year: 2014 – Present
Creator: Jennie Snyder Urman
Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Andrea Navedo, Justin Baldoni
Rating: 100% RT, 7.8/10 IMDB

Set in colorful Miami, Jane the Virgin tells the story of — you guessed it — a virgin named Jane. Only, a medical mistake leads to Jane being artificially inseminated and learning to navigate life after immaculate conception. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll curse the day series creator Jennie Snyder Urman announced this show’s upcoming fifth season will be its last.

Rectify
Type: Drama
Release Year: 2013 – 2016
Creator: Ray McKinnon
Starring: Aden Young, Abigail Spencer, J. Smith-Cameron
Rating: 96% RT, 8.4/10 IMDB

In full disclosure, this show will break your heart. But that’s part of its beauty and certainly shouldn’t deter you from finding one of the smartest, most poignant shows in recent television history. You’ll experience every emotion on the spectrum as a man by the name of Daniel Holden works to put his life back together after serving 19 years on Georgia’s death row — before DNA evidence technology provided the reasonable doubt needed for his release. But did he, or didn’t he? You be the judge.

Glow
Type: Comedy, Drama, Sport
Release Year: 2017 – Present
Creators: Liz Flahive, Carly Mensch
Starring: Alison Brie, Marc Maron, Betty Gilpin
Rating: 99% RT, 7.9/10 IMDB

Set against the technicolor backdrop of 1980s Los Angeles, Glow focuses on a struggling actress by the name of Ruth Wilder who auditions to become a professional wrestler. Topical, funny, inclusive, emotional, clever — this show has it all. And, FWIW, you do not need to be a wrestling fan to be a fan of Glow.

Mindhunter
Type: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Release Year: 2017 – Present
Creator: Joe Penhall
Starring: Jonathan Groff, Holt McCallany, Anna Torv
Rating: 96% RT, 8.9/10 IMDB

This super-buzzed-about psychodrama dives into the minds of serial killers so, not surprisingly, viewers need to wade through some heavy stuff. It’s a bit of a slow burn, but Mindhunter rewards those who commit with a fascinating study of such notorious murderers as Charles Manson and Ed Kemper.

Gilmore Girls
Type: Comedy, Drama
Release Year: 2000 – 2007, 2016
Creator: Amy Sherman-Palladino
Starring: Lauren Graham, Alexis Bledel, Keiko Agena
Rating: % RT, 8.1/10 IMDB

Grab a cuppa coffee! Mother-daughter duo Lorelai and Rory Gilmore elevate witty banter into an art form and make us all wish we could live in the fictional town of Stars Hollow. With the 2016 follow-up, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this sweeping comedy-drama will keep you entertained for a while.

Mad Men
Type: Drama
Release Year: 2007 – 2015
Creator: Matthew Weiner
Starring: Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser
Rating: 94% RT, 8.6/10 IMDB

Set in the 1960s, Mad Men is worth a watch for the scenery and wardrobes alone. But the stories it focuses on — belonging to the employees of the advertising firm Sterling Cooper — would compel you to binge regardless. Donald Draper, the company’s creative genius, may just be one of the most iconic TV characters of all time.

Seven Seconds
Type: Crime, Drama
Release Year: 2018 – Present
Creator: Veena Sud
Starring: Clare-Hope Ashitey, Michael Mosley, David Lyons
Rating: 73% RT, 6.4/10 IMDB

In this harrowing series, Clare-Hope Ashitey and Michael Mosley shine as detectives trying to determine who critically injured a black teenager. Regina King, who just won a Golden Globe award for her performance, stars as the boy’s distraught mother. Despite the fact this show was not renewed by Netflix, we’ll include it on any and every best-of list. The pacing is perfect, the story is painfully relevant and the performances are masterful.

The Office (US)

Type: Comedy
Release Year: 2005 – 2013
Creators: Greg Daniels, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant
Starring: Steve Carell, Jenna Fischer, John Krasinski
Rating: 88% RT, 8.8/10 IMDB

Anyone who has ever lived the cubicle life or endured a comically bad boss will identify with this hilarious docu-reality sitcom. The series revolves around the people of Dunder Mifflin paper supply company who, suffice it to say, are basically all of us.

The Good Place
Type: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Science-Fiction
Release Year: 2016 – Present
Creator: Michael Schur
Starring: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, Jameela Jamil
Rating: 95% RT, 8.1/10 IMDB

Holy shirtballs, this show is good! When Eleanor Shellstrop dies and arrives in the afterlife, she’s pleasantly surprised to find out she’s in “the good place.” But the passage of time quickly proves that change doesn’t necessarily come easy. It does, however, come hilariously… for viewers, that is.

Dark
Type: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Fantasy, Science-Fiction
Release Year: 2017 – Present
Creators: Baran bo Odar, Jantje Friese
Starring: Oliver Masucci, Karoline Eichhorn, Jordis Triebel
Rating: 84% RT, 8.8/10 IMDB

The first German-language series on Netflix, Dark often draws comparisons to another hit series; Stranger Things. In fact, many fans claim — dare we go there? — it’s even better. You’ll have to watch and find out. The show follows four families as they try to help each other find answers after the disappearance of a young child (sounds familiar, no?).

Breaking Bad
Type: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Release Year: 2008 – 2013
Creator: Vince Gilligan
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn
Rating: 96% RT, 9.5/10 IMDB

What’s an underpaid, under-appreciated chemistry teacher to do when he gets diagnosed with Stage III cancer? He still has to support his family and find a way to provide for them in the eventuality of his death. So, Walter White from New Mexico takes matters into his own hands, literally — he starts manufacturing and selling crystal meth. What follows is decidedly more intense than your typical chem teacher’s day-to-day routine.

Call the Midwife
Type: Drama
Release Year: 2012 – Present
Creator: Heidi Thomas
Starring: Jenny Agutter, Laura Main, Vanessa Redgrave
Rating: 92% RT, 8.4/10 IMDB

If it’s something a bit more wholesome you seek, look no further than Call the Midwife. This drama draws you into the lives of a group of midwives working in circa 1950s London in the rundown Poplar district. Sweet and funny with a charismatic cast, this series tugs on heartstrings. Besides, it’s full of babies. Who doesn’t love babies?

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Type: Comedy, Drama
Release Year: 2015 – Present
Creators: Robert Carlock, Tina Fey
Starring: Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski, Tituss Burgess
Rating: 97% RT, 7.8/10 IMDB

Imagine if your most socially awkward, yet endlessly optimistic ‘90s adolescent sself-sprangto life right now. Well, that’s Kimmy Schmidt. Despite having been locked in a bunker by a cult leader for 15 years, Kimmy emerges with an unflappable sense of hope for humanity. Of course, seeing how that plays out in her new hometown of New York City makes for many, many laughs. Plus, this series brought us Tituss Burgess. The end.

Happy Valley
Type: Crime, Drama
Release Year: 2014 – Present
Creator: Sally Wainwright
Starring: Sarah Lancashire, Siobhan Finneran, Shane Zaza
Rating: 100% RT, 8.5/10 IMDB

Catherine is the kind of woman you want with you in a crisis. A cop, she’s hard-working, dedicated, fair and passionate. And this thrilling series, though dark, examines what life is like for her as she simultaneously mourns the loss of her daughter and raising her grandchild. That’s one layer. The crimes she tracks stack up in other artful layers, making this a deeply nuanced watch.

Godless
Type: Drama
Release Year: 2017
Creator: Scott Frank
Starring: Jeff Daniels, Michelle Dockery, Jack O’ Connell
Rating: 89% RT, 8.5/10 IMDB

Here’s the thing — if we all watch this and flood Netflix with requests for a second season, maybe they’ll acquiesce. That would be the hope, because this western about a ruthless outlaw who ventures into a town populated only by women couldn’t have been more captivating. The fact that Merritt Wever (The Walking Dead, Nurse Jackie) just won a Golden Globe award for her turn as Mary Agnes should strengthen our case.

Parks and Recreation
Type: Comedy
Release Year: 2009 – 2015
Creators: Greg Daniels, Michael Schur
Starring: Amy Poehler, Nick Offerman, Chris Pratt
Rating: 91% RT, 8.6/10 IMDB

We should all give thanks for this laugh-out-loud ensemble comedy, considering we have it to thank for the inimitable character of Leslie Knope. And did we mention the rest of the cast includes treasures like Adam Scott, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Aziz Ansari, Chris Pratt, Donna Meagle and Rashida Jones?

The Crown
Type: Drama, History
Release Year: 2016 – Present
Creator: Peter Morgan
Starring: Claire Foy, Matt Smith, Victoria Hamilton
Rating: 90% RT, 8.7/10 IMDB

A sweeping historical drama, The Crown offers an irresistible behind-the-scenes look into the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as well as the Prime Ministers who shaped Britain. The series truly is a treat for the eyes and mind.

Luther
Type: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Release Year: 2010 – Present
Creator: Neil Cross
Starring: Idris Elba, Dermot Crowley, Michael Smiley
Rating: 89% RT, 8.5/10 IMDB

We can’t talk about Luther without pointing out the obvious — it stars the always phenomenal Idris Elba in the title role. A detective struggling with his own demons, Luther is tasked with tracking down depraved serial killers. He’s a powder-keg of a man, though, and you never know what will set him off.

Shameless
Type: Comedy, Drama
Release Year: 2011 – Present
Creators: John Wells, Paul Abbott
Starring: Emmy Rossum, William H. Macy, Ethan Cutkosky
Rating: % RT, 8.7/10 IMDB

Want to feel better about your dysfunctional family? Spend a few hours binge-watching Shameless. Once you’ve gotten to know the Gallagher family, you’ll never look at your fam’s dynamics the same way again. Curiously, you’ll also likely relate to this crew and how they rally around drunk father Frank (or often rally in spite of him).

Orange Is the New Black
Type: Comedy, LGBTQ, Crime, Drama
Release Year: 2013 – Present
Creator: Jenji Kohan
Starring: Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Danielle Brooks
Rating: 89% RT, 8.2/10 IMDB

When a privileged young woman named Piper Chapman turns herself in for a minor crime she committed many years prior, she couldn’t have predicted what life would be like at Wentworth Correctional Facility. With an inclusive, eclectic cast of characters, OITNB never feels tired — the ever-shifting perspectives (and loyalties) guarantee as much. If you love this, consider adding Weeds to your watch list — it was also created by Jenji Kohan.

The Killing
Type: Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Release Year: 2011 – 2014
Creator: Veena Sud
Starring: Mireille Enos, Joel Kinnaman, Billy Campbell
Rating: 70% RT, 8.2/10 IMDB

The fact that this crime drama only lasted a few seasons is a travesty. Set in Seattle, Washington it takes viewers along as homicide detectives Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder try to solve murders that have shaken the town. Mireille Enos stars, along with Joel Kinnaman — a highly underrated star who was equally compelling in 2018’s Altered Carbon.

The Last Kingdom
Type: Action & Adventure, History, Romance, Drama
Release Year: 2015 – Present
Creators: Peter Hoar, Jon East
Starring: Alexander Dreymon, Eliza Butterworth, Ian Hart
Rating: 86% RT, 8.3/10 IMDB

Don’t make the mistake of overlooking this epic historical drama that takes place around 800 to 900 A.D. You’ll easily get swept up in the action as Vikings seek to conquer land while the Saxons do their best to hold their ground. Our hero, Uhtred, must try to find a way to reconcile his own identity while treading both sides. And, naturally, it’s complicated.

The OA
Type: Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Science-Fiction
Release Year: 2016 – Present
Creators: Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling
Starring: Brit Marling, Jason Isaacs, Emory Cohen
Rating: 77% RT, 7.8/10 IMDB

Hmm, how to describe The OA? The series is somewhat indescribable — a sort of “you had to be there” experience. In short, a woman named Prairie who disappeared seven years ago returns to her hometown. She’d been blind since childhood, but she returns with her sight restored. The events that follow continue to defy logic, and as more of Prairie’s backstory unfolds, you’re never quite sure if she is a reliable narrator. But with a new season expected to drop at the end of this year or beginning of next, answers could be on the way.

The 100
Type: Drama, Science-Fiction, Action & Adventure, Mystery, Fantasy, Thriller
Release Year: 2014 – Present
Creator: Jason Rothenberg
Starring: Eliza Taylor, Bob Morley, Marie Avgeropoulos
Rating: 91% RT, 7.8/10 IMD

While this show is often pegged as YA entertainment, trust us when we say it is in no way tame or saccharine. Based on the books by Kass Morgan, The 100 takes place 100 years in the dystopian future. As a group of surviving humans are sent back to Earth — previously unsafe due to radioactivity — they face danger (and death) at every turn.

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